U.S. Visas

TN NAFTA Professional Visas

Citizens of either Canada or Mexico can enter the United States to work in professional occupations listed under the NAFTA in two distinct situations. First, Canadian or Mexican companies who have contracts with companies in the United States can send their employees to service those contracts. Second, individuals who have received employment offers from U.S. companies to work in a recognized professional occupation can work for those companies on a temporary basis just as in the H-1B category. An important difference with the H-1B visa is that TN visa holders must retain non-immigrant intent, meaning that they cannot enter the United States and apply for a green card. TN visas can be issued for up to three years at a time, as long as the applicant continues to prove non-immigrant intent.

An advantage of the TN visa is that unlike the H-1B visa, Canadian citizens can apply for TN status directly at a border crossing. To qualify for TN status, the applicant must intend to perform work that is listed on Schedule 2 of Chapter 16 of the NAFTA and the applicant must possess the necessary credentials to be considered a professional. Generally, a bachelor’s or higher degree is required, unless Schedule 2 lists alternative qualifications. Equivalency to a required degree through a combination of experience and education will not be accepted for TN purposes.

List of NAFTA Professionals

Profession Minimum Education Requirements or Alternative Credentials
General
Accountant Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A. or C.M.A.
Architect Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license2
Computer Systems Analyst Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma3 or Post-Secondary Certificate4, and three years experience
Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster
(claims Adjuster employed
by an insurance company
located in the territory of a Party,
or an independent claims adjuster)
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree, and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims; or three years experience in claims adjustment and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims
Economist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Engineer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Forester Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Graphic Designer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Hotel Manager Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate in hotel/restaurant management, and three years experience in hotel/restaurant management
Industrial Designer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Interior Designer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Land Surveyor Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial/federal license
Landscape Architect Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Lawyer
(including Notary in the
Province of Quebec)
LL.B., J.D., LL.L., B.C.L. or Licenciatura Degree (five years); or membership in a state/provincial bar
Librarian M.L.S. or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree was a prerequisite)
Management Consultant Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or equivalent professional experience as established by statement or professional credential attesting to five years experience as a management consultant, or five years experience in a field of specialty related to the consulting agreement
Mathematician
(including Statistician)
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Range Manager/Range Conservationalist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Research Assistant
(working in a post-secondary educational institution)
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Scientific Technician/
Technologist
Possession of:
(a) a theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics; and
(b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research
Social Worker Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Sylviculturist (including Forestry Specialist) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Technical Publications Writer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Urban Planner (including Geographer) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Vocational Counsellor Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Medical/Allied Professional
Dentist D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or state/provincial license
Dietitian Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Nutritionist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Occupational Therapist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Pharmacist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Physician (teaching or research only) M.D. or Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license
Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Psychologist State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree
Recreational Therapist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Registered Nurse State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree
Veterinarian D.V.M., D.M.V. or Doctor en Veterinaria; or state/provincial license
Scientist
Agriculturist
(including Agronomist)
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Animal Breeder Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Animal Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Apiculturist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Astronomer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Biochemist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Biologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Chemist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Dairy Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Entomologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Epidemiologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Geneticist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Geologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Geochemist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Geophysicist
(including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States)
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Horticulturist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Meteorologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Pharmacologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Physicist
(including Oceanographer in Canada)
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Plant Breeder Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Poultry Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Soil Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Zoologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Teacher
College Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Seminary Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
University Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
The Links on the right hand column offer a brief overview of U.S. Temporary Visas.